Soprano Dawn Upshaw to Perform in Bloomington Oct. 6
September 20, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - Three-time Grammy-award winning soprano Dawn Upshaw, a 1982 Illinois
Wesleyan University graduate, will return to the Twin Cities for a concert on Friday,
Oct. 6, at the newly-remodeled Bloomington Center for Performing Arts in downtown
The 7:30 p.m. concert is sponsored by the Illinois Wesleyan University Civic Orchestra,
which will accompany Upshaw. The University Civic Orchestra is celebrating its 22nd
season under the direction of IWU music professor Steven W. Eggleston. The orchestra
has performed with many guest soloists and is made up of Illinois Wesleyan students
from all disciplines.
Tickets for the Upshaw concert are $30 for the general public and may be purchased
at the BCPA box office, located on the north side of Locust St., across the street
from the BCPA; by phone at (309) 434-ARTS (2787); or online at www.artsblooming.org
at the link for "Arts Partner Events."
IWU students may purchase tickets for $15 with their student ID and must pick up their
tickets in person at the box office.
Upshaw, who is at home in both opera and art song and in repertoire from Baroque to
contemporary, is the artist of several Grammy, Gramophone, and Edison Prize winning
recordings. After graduating from IWU, Upshaw studied voice with Ellen Faull at the
Manhattan School of Music, earning a master's degree in 1984. She also attended courses
given by Jan DeGaetani at the Aspen (Colo.) Music School.
She was a winner of the Young Concert Artists auditions (1984) and the Walter M. Naumburg
Competition (1985), and was a member of the Metropolitan Opera Young Artists Development
Program. She has been awarded honorary doctorate degrees at Illinois Wesleyan, Yale,
the Manhattan School of Music and Allegheny College.
She came to international fame with her 1993 recording of the hauntingly powerful
"Symphony No. 3" by Henryk Gorecki, known as the "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs".
Composers such as John Harbison. have written for her, and she has worked repeatedly
with the director Peter Sellars, in his staging of Handel's "Theodora at Glyndebourne",
his Paris production of Stravinsky's "The Rake's Progress" (1996), and a New York
staging of Bach's "cantata BWV 199", presented in the 1995-96 season.
Her engagements with James Levine over the years led to a 1997 recording of Debussy
songs. She tours regularly with piano accompanist Richard Goode, while Margo Garrett
and Gilbert Kalish are also long-standing partners.
She has recently been noted for her involvement and partnership in developing and
singing the new works of Osvaldo Golijov. In May 2006, she performed with Osmo Vanska
and the Minnesota Orchestra for a short period with the performances including Golijov's
"Three Songs for Soprano and Orchestra."
Upshaw was a guest of President Clinton and Mrs. Clinton on the NBC special, "Christmas
in Washington." The BBC presented a prime-time telecast of her 1996 London Proms Concert,
"Dawn at Dusk", in which she performed songs from the American musical theater.
Born in Nashville, Tenn., and raised in Park Forest, Ill., Upshaw lives near New York
City with her husband (Michael Nott, a 1979 IWU graduate) and their two children.
Her father-in-law was David Nott, professor of music emeritus at Illinois Wesleyan,
who died in 2004.
Illinois Wesleyan Civic Orchestra
The 2006-07 year marks the Illinois Wesleyan Civic Orchestra's 22nd season. Founded
in 1984 by director and conductor Steven W. Eggleston, the ensemble has performed
with many esteemed soloists and is made up of students from all disciplines.
Some of the guests the ensemble has hosted throughout its tenure are Armando Ghitalla,
former principal trumpet of the Boston Symphony Orchestra; baritone Roger Roloff,
a critically acclaimed soloist with the Chicago Lyric Opera; and Laszlo Varga, former
principal cellist of the New York Philharmonic.
The ensemble has also performed alongside contemporary musicians such as pianist Awadagin
Pratt; Sir Edward Heath, former British Prime Minister; the Volograd Philharmonic
Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Mr. Edward Serov; Peter Schickele, celebrated
composer of the comic oratorio, Oedipus Tex, and "transcriber/impersonator" of P.D.Q.
Bach; and Todd French, a 1993 IWU graduate and president of StringWorks.
The IWCO also boasts many noteworthy performances, including appearing on CBS Television's
"Sunday Morning", and engaging in frequent tours throughout the U.S. In addition,
the annual Concerto-Aria concert showcases the school's finest musicians, presenting
talented students with the honor to perform with the IWCO through multiple auditions.
CONTACT: Matt Kurz, 309-556-3203